Gas Water Heater Woes


  #1  
Old 08-01-09, 11:07 AM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Gas Water Heater Woes

Hi everyone! Not sure anyone can help me with this, but my wife and I are recent homeowners and are all thumbs when it comes to gas appliances.

Here's our problem:

We moved into a home 1 month ago that was built in 2001 located in Spokane Washington. 2 days of being in the home the pilot light on the water heater went out. I eventually relit the burner and left it at that. Since then the pilot light has been going out starting every three days, to every day. I researched some info on it and replaced the thermocoupler on the unit. The following night the pilot went out again.

Starting yesterday when attempting to light the burner it will light fine and stay on, but once I turn the heat up enough for the burner to ignite, flames will roll out of the heating tank a foot or more followed by either the flame being snuffed out, or me having to shut it off before something catches on fire. (I make sure to shut off the gas entirely to the unit and wait 2-3 hours prior to attempting to relight)

We're thinking about just replacing the whole unit with a automatic start rather than using a match. What do you think?
 
  #2  
Old 08-01-09, 04:22 PM
5
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 2,039
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
An 8 year old gas water heater should have anywhere from 2 to 8 more years of life left in it. I would not junk it, but be careful about spending too much on it.

It could be a faulty gas valve, but you have no way to check that....just throw a new one in. That could run you $75 to $100. But before you do that, just where the 1/4" aluminum gas tube connects to the pilot burner, inside that fitting is an orifice....a small brass piece with a tiny hole in it. You could take out the pilot burner assy, clean that orifice with some rubbing alcohol, blow out with canned air, dry and reassemble. This might fix your problem.

Now, lets talk about air. First, if your WH is located in an attic, let us know because that is a whole different subject.

But lets say it is down on the ground: it is important that there is adequate combustion air. If it is in any kind of closet or small room, it is very important that there be free air inlets high and low.

Let us know more about the situation.
 
  #3  
Old 08-01-09, 05:48 PM
G
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Spokane WA
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Woes

The water heater is located in our crawlspace (the space itself is about 3-4 feet tall), but the heater and furnace are in a sunken concrete pad 5-6' tall.

I initially thought the pilot light blowing out was associated with our AC unit being on, however it's blown out while it is running and not running. Our furnace is very close to the water heater which led me to believe it was blowing the pilot out. As of yet I have not been able to recreate any conditions to blow out the pilot other than almost setting myself ablaze.

I've managed to start the heater without a flame backdraft and currently it is working. Seems to issue occurs after heating for a cycle. The pilot tends to blow out once the water needs to be reheated, not when the pilot is idle.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: